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The Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SAU chapter.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m not even Irish, but I love it. For me, it’s excitement and tradition that goes with it. There is just a feeling of fun and “free and easiness” to it that is contagious. It’s awesome decorations, sometimes dressing up, and fun with friends. Those with Irish heritage embrace the holiday and celebrate with all the energy they have. People generally think of the city of Chicago dying the Chicago River green or the St. Patrick’s Day parades. There is a lot about the holiday that people don’t realize or know.

The holiday is to commemorate the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, and actually is on what is believed to be the date of his death. This holiday has been in existence for centuries, too. It originated in the ninth or tenth century. He is celebrated in Ireland for bringing Christianity to what was a Druid society. One myth of the holiday is that St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the people about the Holy Trinity or “the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit,” which is why it was named to symbolize St. Patrick and his celebration. Leprechauns are another well-known symbol for the holiday, although, I’m not really sure why Leprechauns came to be part of the holiday, other than from Irish Folklore about fairies.

As many know, St. Patrick’s Day falls during the Lenten season. During Lent, many observe the tradition of not eating meat on Fridays as a way to show sacrifice. However, the Irish traditional meal is Irish Bacon and Cabbage, although most know it to be Corn Beef and Cabbage. To continue to honor St. Patrick, the church allows for the meat to be eaten if the date falls on a Friday. Another thing that St. Patrick’s is notorious for is its parties and drinking. However, St. Patrick’s was originally a dry holiday. At one time, the Irish government ordered all pubs to close on the holiday. Something that is also not very well known is that the St. Patrick’s day parades did not start in Ireland, that tradition was started in the U.S. as a way for the American Irish to celebrate their heritage at a time when they were treated poorly and discriminated against. They embraced their culture when no one would, which is another thing I admire it.

St. Patrick’s Day has centuries worth of history to it to make it an interesting topic to look into, but I say we all be safe and have fun with friends. If you would like to check out some more about the history of the holiday you can always Google it or look at the History Channel’s page about it: https://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/history-of-st-patricks-day

I am a Junior and non-traditional student at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where I major in Social Work and a double minor in Sociology and Pre-Law. I'm a small-town farm girl who almost always has coffee or an energy drink in hand & I'm very passionate about the things I believe in! I intend to work in advocacy for Domestic Abuse/Violence, Sexual Assault, Mental Health, and Child Abuse with the goal of achieving better resources, better education, and better laws.